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2nd Oasis in Guatemala

10/09/2012: Guatemala

On 15 July, we had the opportunity to realize our second oasis in Guatemala. As on previous occasions, brothers from almost all communities were involved and we discovered the richness of this space for formation. This time there was something new: the participation of members of the Marist fraternities. We were 29 in total (17 brothers and 12 lay men and women).

This helped us fulfil what the documents from the General Chapter asked us to do:

"A new relationship between Brothers and lay people, based on communion, searching together for greater vitality of the Marist charism for our world" (Letter of the 21st General Chapter, October 2009).

"We see our Marist future as a communion of persons in the charism of Champagnat, where our specific vocations are mutually enriched”(Doc. of the 21st General Chapter, October 2009).

We live, therefore, in a space where we meet, are formed and pray, sharing it with brothers and lay people to follow the calls of the 13th Provincial Chapter:

"To promote a joint reflection and share life experiences, spirituality and mission between brothers and lay people. "(Call 1b)

"To share life, spirituality and mission with lay people." (Call 3)

The path we followed was as follows:

In the morning of Sunday, 15 July we went to the Marist Formation Centre and welcomed each other, in a family spirit. The atmosphere and proximity made us feel welcome and appreciated, especially the lay. We started with some animation songs and then we introduced ourselves by saying our name, job and Marist origin, which was important as not all of us knew each other.

Then, we were showed the reasons for this meeting and a video from Br. Emili Turù greeting and speaking about the importance of these meetings to open new ways of shared life between brothers and lay people.

The opening prayer was a Lectio Divina on the Sunday Gospel, which was about the Twelve being sent out by Jesus. The importance was highlighted of Jesus sending them not individually, but in pairs.

The highlight of the morning was the prayer and reflection on the document "Sharing charism and mission with the laity", whose first part is a summary of an article by Lasallian Brother, Antonio Botana, while the second part includes the Chapter Documents on the relationship between Brothers and lay people. After a personal reading of the document and answering the questions, we had a very rich time of sharing in which we deepened and thanked for our experience of closeness and identification with the Marist Charism: a charism that seduced us, which is always present in our daily lives, experiences and significant people in our process ...

When we met in the plenary session, we shared on the challenges and concerns that this new vision of the charism as a brother or lay person entails, stressing the need we all felt for a change in our mindset, as well as having the courage to make room for shared projects, working hand in hand, and not with a top-down approach.

In the final prayer, starting from a prayer by Br. Emili Turù, we put ourselves in the hands of Mary, Dawn of the New Times and we entrusted these new insights and experiences with Her.

We concluded by fraternally sharing lunch. This second Oasis was the first spirituality and formation experience shared between brothers and lay people, and its evaluation showed that it was so rich that we all had a good impression and felt it would open the doors for future experiences.

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